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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jun;98(23):e15845. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015845.

Can endoscopists differentiate cytomegalovirus esophagitis from herpes simplex virus esophagitis based on gross endoscopic findings?

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine.
Department of Gastroenterology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul.
Department of Internal Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangwon, Republic of Korea.


Differential diagnosis between herpes simplex virus (HSV) esophagitis and cytomegalovirus (CMV) esophagitis is challenging because there are many similarities and overlaps between their endoscopic features. The aims of this study were to investigate the implications of the endoscopic findings for the diagnosis of HSV and CMV esophagitis, and to develop a predictive model for differentiating CMV esophagitis from HSV esophagitis.Patients who underwent endoscopic examination and had pathologically-confirmed HSV or CMV esophagitis were eligible. Clinical characteristics and endoscopic features were retrospectively reviewed and categorized. A predictive model was developed based on parameters identified by logistic regression analysis.During the 8-year study period, HSV and CMV esophagitis were diagnosed in 85 and 63 patients, respectively. The endoscopic features of esophagitis were categorized and scored as follows: category 1 (-3 points): discrete ulcers or ulcers with vesicles, bullae, or pseudomembranes, category 2 (-2 points): coalescent or geographic ulcers, category 3 (1 points): ulcers with an uneven base, friability, or with a circumferential distribution, category 4 (2 points): punched-out, serpiginous, or healing ulcers with yellowish exudates. And previous history of transplantation (2 point) was included in the model as a discriminating clinical feature. The optimal cutoff point of the prediction model was 0 (area under receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.967), with positive scores favoring CMV esophagitis. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 96.8%, 89.4%, 92.6%, 87.3%, and 97.5%, respectively.The predictive model based on endoscopic and clinical findings appears to be accurate and useful in differentiating CMV esophagitis from HSV esophagitis.

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